migrant domestic workers

Honestly the thing that I’m most upset about with the sixpenceee child slave scandal is that we have a real opportunity to raise awareness about migrant domestic workers, but y'all are just seeing the surface and condemning it when there are a bunch of reasons that Made this the norm. One of which is the rampant use of child labor to produce our consumer goods. Another is the crippling poverty and growing divide between the rich and poor that makes this so widespread.
Children who work as migrant domestic workers are (almost always) not being trafficked, and are typically being paid the most in their family, which keeps families from literally starving to death without putting the same children into sweatshops or jute paddies where they’d be in almost inherently unsafe working conditions, having to work absurdly long hours, and be exposed to toxic chemicals. Domestic workers aren’t sold to the employer family, and they can technically leave when they want to, but it would almost always have dire consequences for their family due to the loss of income and regaining of an additional household mouth to feed (which is why domestic workers can often fall into the category of forced labor). Domestic workers are even more at risk of mistreatment (from physical, emotional, sexual abuse to wage theft) than other poor Indians because they tend to become isolated in daily life. Better safeguards and regulation for domestic worker documentation could fix that since it’s mostly in the informal sector currently. That said, better regulation could also fix the manufacturing and agricultural practices, but it hasn’t. Honestly though, it really isn’t as cut and dry as y'all are making it out to be.
Maybe take a sec to learn about domestic workers in South Asia before y'all decide to pop off about the subject. This really is a cultural norm that we’re getting ironically holier than thou about when we don’t have the right to because we also employ countless poor children in developing countries through the goods we purchase. This is just a different iteration of child labor. Google is your friend.

Modern AU Lafayette headcanons

The lovely @dusty-soul​ asked for more detail on modern AU Lafayette and I just so happened to have about 9 million headcanons that needed to escape my brain. Most of these will make sense on their own, but a couple will seem totally random without the context of this fic (Come Marching Home), which is in turn a follow-up of this fic (And Called It Macaroni), which is based on my modern AU John Laurens headcanons and you know what? Maybe it would just be faster to link you to the series page on Ao3.

Keep reading


Cucarachas (Roaches)

If you wish

you can call us


because even when you kick us out

even when you kill us

we always come back

multiply withoutpermission

and do what we need todo

to survive.

You tried to drown

our family down the drain

but they swan through sewage

to make it back into your mansion.

We always remain

no matter how many times

you stepped on our friends

so get out of the kitchen

and let us cook

you know you love

our cucaracha food

so get out of the music room

and let us play

you know you love

our cucaracha tunes

so let us serve behind the bar

you love our drinks you do.

We are leaving the basement

crossing every border of poison

on your doorways

and entering your room

like it or not

we stalk dreams and hope

while you snore

we make things move

at dusk

that is why your socks

are missing

and your underwear has black tracings

of our dinner

we prey upon your crumbs

clean your floors with our tongues

and scatter when the lights go on.


We work in the shadows

of your rejection

so you can eat fresh cilantro

and ripe tomatoes

with your breakfast

so you can lounge in a dust free home

so your restaurants

run oh so smoothly

so your hotels are shiny.

We are everywhere

here there here there


swarming on your dishes

until you can see your reflection

infesting and organizing your produce

hiding and constructing your buildings

some of us teaching your children

many of us raising your children

until they speak our cucaracha language

all products of moonlight migration

crawling through your hallways

invading and fixing your engines

so you can drive to a store

to buy Raid venom

and even when you spray us

we will always come back

like cucarachas

so you should start being nice

and leaving us

the welcome mat.

-By Eric Eztli

anonymous asked:

which arab countries have still slaves ????

Most (if not all) MENA states. (Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen)

‘The Middle East and North African (MENA) countries are some of the destinations of choice for men and women seeking work. Women look for domestic and child-care work, while employment in the construction industry is the goal of the tens thousands of men from Southeast Asia living in stifling poverty.

Migrant workers have become the majority workforce in many Arab Gulf states – wealthy countries with weak or non-existent domestic-worker rights, destructive gender attitudes that suppress and control women, and endemic racism. This poisonous cocktail, rooted in prejudice and ignorance, fuels and justifies exploitation, including forced labour, physical and sexual abuse, and extreme mistreatment by employers.

Deceived and trapped (their passports, ID’s etc get taken (stolen) away by “employers”) into debt and bonded labour from the start, prospective migrant workers are duped into leaving their homes for Beirut, Dubai, Kuwait City, Riyadh or Sana’a. Naïve and desperate young men and women are promised they will be handsomely paid, that the streets are paved with dollars, that every apartment has hot and cold running water, that designer clothes, smart phones and flat screen TVs are aplenty, and that you too will live the good life, easily repay your loan to the agent and, crucially, help drag your family out of grinding poverty. With hollow promises like these, as the ILO says, migrants are “lured into jobs that either didn’t exist or that were offered under conditions that were very different from what they were promised in the first place” by unscrupulous recruitment agents. The reality for many is one of modern day slavery, imprisonment and violence; mistreatment that in many cases leads some to take their own lives.

All MENA states, apart from Yemen, are signatories to the Palermo Protocol, which clearly defines the conditions of trafficking and whose articles are legally binding, which means and employees who contravene them are guilty of human trafficking. In what could prove to be a significant action, a recent high profile case involving Meshael Alayban a Saudi Arabian princess, has highlighted the fact that the treatment of many migrant domestic workers by their Arab employers qualifies as human trafficking.According to the BBC, the “Princess is accused of forcing a Kenyan woman to work 16 hours a day while paying her far less than what she was originally promised”. She also took away “the woman’s passport, precluding her escape”. The two-year contract guaranteed the women “1,600 US dollars a month, for eight-hour work, five days a week”, but as is often the case she was paid much less – “220 dollars a month and made to work twice as long”. The unnamed Kenyan escaped on a visit to America with the royal household, and has brought a case in California (where they were staying) against the regal Alayban for trafficking. She faces a maximum prison sentence of 12 years.The vulnerability of migrant domestic workers to human trafficking in MENA countries, beyond the underlying prejudicial causes, are due to two primary factors: the Dickensian kafala (Arabic for “bail”) employment system, allied to the lack of labour protection and legal redress, and the initial recruitment process, with agents extending loans to prospectve migrants for employment fees, forging passports and other documentation and travel costs. This creates debt bondage, trapping the unsuspecting into years of bonded labour.The kafala sponsorship system forms the legal basis for both residency and employment for migrant domestic workers in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, and in Lebanon and Jordon. Under the scheme the employer, to all extent and purposes, “owns” the migrant worker, who cannot change employers, unless the sponsor decides to sell them on to someone – a lucrative add-on for employers and a form of trafficking that fuels resistance to the schemes abolition, vehemently called for by human rights groups and all right minded thinkers.

Labour laws for migrant domestic workers in MENA countries, where they exist at all, vary in structure but not in inadequacy or lack of enforcement. All domestic work occurs beyond the protection of national labour laws, and anti-trafficking laws designed to protect migrant workers from abuse are not enforced.Under Lebanese law for example, migrant domestic workers are not allowed to leave the house without the permission of their employers, making it possible, and in many cases likely, for employers to imprison workers, exploit them and force them to work beyond their contract, with the kafala preventing the innocent victim from reporting the abuse without risking losing residency status. It is a legal trap not confined to Lebanon, which contributes to human trafficking by creating conditions of compelled service and forced labour.Confinement, dependency, weak labour laws, plus migrant domestic workers’ inability to speak the local language or understand their rights under international law (what few exist), make them acutely vulnerable. A Filipina domestic worker who tried to escape abusive employers in Lebanon told the ILO, according to CNN, “my employer broke my elbow and then tied my hands behind my back. They left me one day long in my room and put a camera there. He threatened me: ‘I’ll accuse you of stealing money and ask for my money back, and they will throw you in jail’,” she said.Another Filipina domestic worker interviewed in a detention centre in Kuwait told the ILO that her employer had raped her. “I went to the doctors and filed a complaint at the police, and then returned to work the next day. He reported to the authorities that I had run away, and the police arrested me,” she said. “My employer tells me that if I drop the rape charges, he will make sure that I am not deported.’


1. http://www.redressonline.com/2013/10/the-migrant-slave-workers-of-the-arab-world/

2. http://www.frontpagemag.com/2011/stephenbrown/the-dark-world-of-the-arab-child-slave-trade/

3. http://www.albawaba.com/news/middle-east-slavery-528324

4. http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/series/modern-day-slavery-in-focus+world/middleeast


What’s happening in Lebanon right now is very important. Don’t sleep on it. This is a true popular rebellion by the people against a system that has been in power for 25 years. The garbage situation, coupled with the lack of electricity, lack of water, loss of representation, and many more problems are just the tip of the iceberg.

Yesterday the liberal organisers were scared and wanted to postpone more protests. Yet thousands upon thousands of people made their way to Riad el Solh to protest. The mood was one of joy, anger, freedom, and festive revolution.

There were people from all walks of life in Lebanon. All classes, all sects, all party affiliations, all ages. There were Palestinian refugees, Syrian refugees, and some but not many migrant domestic workers. Every inhabitant of this country suffers from the situation. It’s not a citizenship thing. Though there is hopefully a new form of citizenship being elaborated in the square.

There are a few xenophobic fascists of course. But they are the minority and we won’t let them hijack this. Please follow what’s going on and show solidarity. This is important.

An Ethiopian woman participates in drama therapy in Beirut, Lebanon. Zeina Daccache, drama therapist and executive director of Catharsis, Lebanese Center for Drama Therapy, is heading up this project to provide migrant workers and migrant domestic workers with drama therapy to give a vulnerable population in Lebanon a much-needed voice. All of Daccache’s work together with the group will culminate in a play at the end of this year.